FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions, please contact United Way of Portage County at 715-341-6740 or email uway@unitedwaypoco.org.

Why should I give to United Way?
Because United Way and our partner programs are making a difference every day in the lives of children, individuals and families in our community. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people have good health.

Who decides where the money goes?
People like you, right here in Portage County. Volunteers from all walks of life review program applications, visit agencies, make funding decisions, and prioritize community needs to ensure that your dollars are spent wisely and efficiently.

What is the local United Way's relationship with United Way Worldwide?
United Way of Portage County is a local autonomous organization led by a volunteer board of directors. United Way of America is a completely separate organization that provides training, research data, items with the United Way logo and other services that are more cost-effective to produce on a national scale. United Way of America has no role determining how funds raised locally are invested.

Who runs the United Way of Portage County?
More than 100 unpaid volunteers who live and work in Portage County. Volunteers organize campaigns, supervise audits, budget funds, determine policy and sit on the Board of Directors. The Board hires professional staff to administer the daily operations of the organization.

How does the United Way ensure financial integrity?
To maintain fiscal responsibility, United Way of Portage County staff operations are under the oversight of a board of directors. All accounts are reconciled monthly and reviewed by the Treasurer and Board of Directors or Executive Committee. An independent audit is conducted annually.

Isn’t it better to just give directly to an agency?
Your gifts going directly to an agency do help our community. The value of United Way is that you address multiple community needs and know that dollars are targeted to programs that are held accountable. To direct your contribution to a specific program, just complete the donor designation section of the pledge form. A specific program designation will be the first dollars the program receives towards its United Way grant.

I'll never use the services, so why should I give?
When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people enjoy good health. These changes have benefits that ripple out into the community as a whole.

What are United Way's administrative costs?
United Way of Portage County keeps their administrative costs low, investing the majority of funds raised directly to local programs that support individuals and families. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance encourages nonprofits to keep their operating costs below 35%. In 2015, United Way of Portage County's administrative and fundraising expenses were 14.5%.

I don't want my money to fund a certain program or service.
First, be sure that program or service is funded through United Way of Portage County. If the objection is about a program that is on our current Partner Program list, consider targeting your donation to a program or priority area that you do support. Just complete the donor designation portion on your pledge form.

Is my United Way contribution tax deductible?
Yes, if you itemize your deductions. Know donors making a contribution of $250 or more will receive a mailed receipt from United Way of Portage County to satisfy IRS regulations.